European shares are seen heading lower Wednesday as investors take in weaker U.S economic data amid fears the fragile economic recovery at the world’s largest economy could be only temporary.
The FTSE 100 is seen opening lower by 12 points, Germany's DAX down by 17 points and the CAC lower by 9 points.
A somber mood was created by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments that it was too early to claim the U.S economy had firmly turned the corner.
Spain dismissed media reports that suggested that the European Union had pressured the country to take a bailout to refinance the country’s banks.
Shares in France’s Total slumped at the end of trading yesterday following details of the gas leak in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland, which could see gas leaking for months ahead. An exclusion zone has now been set up and Shell has also evacuated workers from its nearby platform and rig.
Both the UK and France will release their final growth figures for the fourth quarter. The UK revised its estimate of -0.2 percent last month.
In bond auction news Italy auctions between 7 billion to 8 billion in 6 month BOTs at 10:00am GMT.